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UK footfall surges on ‘Freedom day’, but slows amid heatwave

By Huw Hughes

26 Jul 2021

Retail

Image: FashionUnited

Footfall across UK retail destinations increased by 3.3 percent last week compared to the one before.

It rose across all three destination types, up 4.1 percent in shopping centres, 3.3 percent in high streets, and 2.5 percent in retail parks, according to the latest figures from Springboard.

Footfall jumped by 16.5 percent on ‘Freedom Day’ itself, but from Tuesday onward, as the weather heated up, the uplift from the week before averaged just 1.7 percent.

Springboard said the intense heat, the end of the school summer term on Tuesday and nervousness among shoppers about rising Covid cases were all clear from the results.

Footfall in coastal towns, where shoppers tend to visit during hot weather, was generally much stronger than in high streets, with a rise of 11 percent from the week before.

There was also a decline in footfall in Greater London of 0.7 percent, compared with rises of 5.4 percent in the South West and 6.5 percent in the East, which both have expansive coastlines.

The overall results for the week left the gap in footfall from the 2019 levels largely unchanged at -23.3 percent across UK retail destinations versus -24.9 percent the previous week.